The so-called Four Amigos of the state Senate are meeting today to discuss “the Agenda for 2010,” Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. said in a release today.
Updated: The meeting has been canceled.
“I regret to inform you that The Four Amigos holiday dinner at Nautilus Diner has been canceled. Some of the members did not like the idea that the media was informed. As you know, I do not like to conduct secret meetings,” a statement from Diaz states.
The Democratic group, who a year ago had initially withheld their support of incoming Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, is meeting as a Senate panel this week is expected to release its recommendations on whether to punish, and possibly seek the expulsion, of Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens.
Monserrate, a member of the group, was convicted of misdemeanor assault earlier this year involving his girlfriend, prompting calls for his ouster. And despite what the panel comes back with, some senators vowed to move forward with a vote on his removal.
But Diaz has been particularly vocal in his support of Monserrate, saying it would be hypocritical to punish Monserrate when other lawmakers have had brushes with the law.
It was two members of the group—Monserrate and Sen. Pedro Espada, D-Bronx—who joined Republicans in the June leadership coup that stalled legislative business for a year.
Interestingly, the group’s luncheon today is being held in Mamaroneck—where Espada has a home and has been under investigation for allegedly not having his primary home in his Bronx district.
“As a member of the four, I am eager to have this dinner with my friends and discuss the Agenda for 2010, ” Díaz said in a statement.